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Sonic the Hedgehog and his self-proclaimed girlfriend Amy Rose travel to Never Lake, only to discover the legendary Little Planet there, tied in chains and covered by metal. It appears that Sonic's archenemy, Dr. Eggman, is using the powers of the planet to manipulate the fabric of time. He created Sonic's evil counterpart, Metal Sonic, who kidnaps Amy and disappears. Now the brave hedgehog must explore the Little Planet, collect seven jewels capable of altering the passage of time, free Amy, and defeat Metal Sonic along with his master.

Sonic CD is a fast-paced side-scrolling platform action game, similar in gameplay to other installments of the series. Sonic uses his patented spin attacks to destroy the doctor's minions and collects various items, such as protective rings, shields, and speed shoes. His special attacks include the Spin Dash and the Super Peel Out. A stand-out gameplay feature of this installment is Sonic's ability to travel to past and future versions of the stages he traverses. Depending on the player's action in the past version of a level, the future versions (which contain obligatory boss enemies) will change from "bad" to "good", having more or fewer enemies and obstacles, respectively.

Time Stones can be collected by completing special stages, in which Sonic has to shoot UFOs within an allotted time limit. The game's "good" ending can be achieved either by collecting all the seven Time Stones or by turning all future level versions into "good". The game has features that take advantage of the CD format such as CD audio, video clips, and more levels (over fifty in total).


Sonic CD Windows The intro depicts Sonic rushing to Never Lake.
Sonic CD Windows The first round of the adventure is called Palmtree Panic.
Sonic CD SEGA CD Dr. Robotnik
Sonic CD SEGA CD Title Screen

Promo Images

Sonic CD Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Sonic the Hedgehog CD" -- In-game title
  • "CD Sonic the Hedgehog" -- Working title
  • "ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグCD" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The best sonic game ever! Sadly forgotten due to the failure of the sega CD. SEGA CD Kaddy B. (796)
This game should be called SoniCD...maybe not. SEGA CD MasterMegid (902)
The best Sonic game yet SEGA CD Brad Shead (6)
Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom SEGA CD Classic Nigel (150)
Matched only by Sonic 2 SEGA CD phanboy_iv (137)
I sense something - a feeling I have not felt since.. SEGA CD Forever Sport (26)
Greatest Sonic game I played in my life SEGA CD Mario Duenaz (32)
One great game. Must be played Windows Joel Chappell (3)
Dude, this game is good...not bad.... SEGA CD Bob McNeal (4)

Critic Reviews SEGA CD Jan 03, 2011 19 out of 20 95
SUPER-NES.COM SEGA CD 2006 9.5 out of 10 95
neXGam SEGA CD Nov 07, 2010 9.4 out of 10 94
Power Sonic SEGA CD Jan 10, 2014 9.3 out of 10 93
Defunct Games SEGA CD Nov 27, 2004 85 out of 100 85
Mean Machines SEGA CD Nov, 1993 83 out of 100 83
Video Games SEGA CD Dec, 1993 81 out of 100 81
PC Player (Germany) Windows Aug, 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 Windows 1996 70 out of 100 70
Retro Game Reviews SEGA CD Jan 21, 2016 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
Steam version 7 leilei (339)
Feb 17, 2012
Wow. 6 Parf (7782)
Dec 30, 2011



The 1992 Sega Summer Catalogue contained this description for the upcoming Sonic CD:
Dr.Eggman is burning with the ambition of the world conquest. The peaceful world fell into chaos by Dr.Eggman and his army corps. Super hero Sonic acquired the time travel ability and he stood up to regain peace. What is ultimate weapon "DEATH EGG"? ... What is the weak point of Dr.Eggman?...From the dinosaur-age to the future, Sonic and sidekick (Debut!) begin the adventure which transcended time.
The catalogue names the sidekick as ‘Tail’ (no ‘s’). But Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was already done by the time Sonic CD was finished, so this was probably from when it was being developed as a remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


In the U.S. version's manual, Amy is referred to as Princess Sally. This was most likely done to tie it in with the animated series. The only problem is: Princess Sally and Amy look completely different.


Chronologically, Sonic CD takes place between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, effectively (and technically) making Amy Rose the first of Sonic's allies to show up, and Tails the second.

Cut content

The original second level of the game, which was set in castle ruins, was removed because of size and debugging issues. The end of level boss (with large claws and chompers) can be seen in the final cinema sequence during the credits.

Some of the levels elements were re-used for the Time Attack Bonus levels.

Development team

Despite being a flagship title for the Sega CD hardware, the game had virtually no involvement from the team that produced the first two Sonic titles other than Naoto Ohshima. Neither Yuji Naka nor Hirokazu Yasuhara, both strongly associated with the series, had any involvement. It was also the first major Sonic title to not feature a soundtrack composed by Masato Nakamura.


At any point in the game, if you leave Sonic standing perfectly still (without pausing the game), after three minutes he'll say: "I'm outta here!" and jump off the screen. This ends your game.

Metal Sonic

This game features the first appearances of Metal Sonic, who is by far the most popular and well-known of all the Sonic robots.


Sonic CD had nearly all of its music changed during the localization process. The US version has a completely redone Redbook soundtrack compsed by Spencer Nielsen, while the Japanese and European version feature the original soundtrack composed by Masafumi Ogata and Naofumi Hataya. The "past" version songs, which are played through the Sega CD's sound generator rather than being CD audio tracks, are the same in both versions.

According to Spencer Nilsen, composer of the North American version, SEGA of America wanted their products to differentiate themselves from the competition. The electronic dance friendly music in the original was deemed too popular at the time so SoA set out to try something completely different.

The game's title song from the US version, Sonic Boom, is included alongside other Sonic songs in Nintendo's 2008 Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Windows version

The PC version of this game had a complete and uncut anime opening sequence. This was only ever available to PC players until it was included as an extra feature on the Sonic Mega Collection. Only on the Windows version, the game CD can be replaced with a music CD (or another game with CD music) to change the music.


  • GamePro
    • Vol. 6, Issue 2 - CD Game of the Year 1993
Information also contributed by Big John WV, Chris Chidester, Kartanym, M4R14N0, Marguerite Richardson, MegaMegaMan and Pizzaking27

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Contributed to by Kartanym (12710) and Rogee (595)
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